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When you’ve got a craving for mac ‘n’ cheese, but you want an ultra-rich, elegantly-embellished version that you can serve up for a dinner date whilst preserving your dignity … this is the one.

You will need

Serves 4

  • 500g pasta curls (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/3 cup semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves

Béchamel sauce

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons plant-based butter (e.g. Nuttelex)
  • 1/3 cup plain flour (gluten-free if needed)
  • 2 1/2 cups oat milk (or neutral tasting plant milk of choice)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional savoury yeast flakes
  • 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella-style shreds
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheddar-style shreds
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Toasted breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (gluten-free if required)
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 1/3 cup vegan parmesan (optional)

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15 mins to prep

30 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    For the breadcrumbs, heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, stirring until well coated. Cook for 3–4 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden and crispy. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and set aside until required.

  2. Step 2

    For the béchamel sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add flour, stirring until well combined. Slowly add milk, whisking until smooth and continue stirring until sauce thickens. Add yeast flakes, vegan cheese shreds, salt and pepper, stirring until shreds melt and béchamel becomes silky.

  3. Step 3

    Cook pasta following pack instructions. Drain and return to pot. Add béchamel sauce, tomatoes and basil, stirring to combine.

  4. Step 4

    To serve, divide pasta between four bowls and sprinkle over reserved toasted breadcrumbs and parmesan, if using.

Recipe: Fiona Roberts Food

Photography: Rainbow Nourishments

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